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Diversification benefits of commodity futures

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  • Cheung, C. Sherman
  • Miu, Peter
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    Abstract

    The finance literature seems to be in support of the diversification benefits of adding commodity futures to an existing portfolio. Yet no empirical work has been performed to test whether the benefits are indeed statistically significant. This paper addresses several unresolved issues concerning the potential diversification benefits of commodities. First, we attempt to ascertain whether the alleged diversification benefits exist and are statistically significant. Second, to what extent are the diversification benefits unique to US investors? Would investors of a resource-based economy like Canada also benefit from adding commodities to their portfolios? Third, recent studies indicate that correlations among international equity returns are higher during bear markets than during bull markets. This type of regime-switching correlation behavior will mean lower diversification benefits from international investments when investors face a bearish environment at home. Do commodity futures display the same type of regime-switching behavior? To what extent do commodity futures offer real diversification benefits that are robust over time and across regimes? Finally, commodities may appear to be an asset for the more adventurous investors with higher risk tolerance. We want to know what type of investors should hold commodities. We demonstrate that the diversification benefit of commodities is a far more complex phenomenon than often understood in the finance literature.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 451-474

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intfin:v:20:y:2010:i:5:p:451-474

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/intfin

    Related research

    Keywords: Commodity futures Portfolio diversification Regime-switching;

    References

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    1. Breusch, T S, 1978. "Testing for Autocorrelation in Dynamic Linear Models," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(31), pages 334-55, December.
    2. Gibbons, Michael R & Ross, Stephen A & Shanken, Jay, 1989. "A Test of the Efficiency of a Given Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 1121-52, September.
    3. Glen, Jack & Jorion, Philippe, 1993. " Currency Hedging for International Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1865-86, December.
    4. Ramchand, Latha & Susmel, Raul, 1998. "Volatility and cross correlation across major stock markets," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 397-416, October.
    5. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
    6. François Longin, 2001. "Extreme Correlation of International Equity Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 649-676, 04.
    7. Gray, Stephen F., 1996. "Modeling the conditional distribution of interest rates as a regime-switching process," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 27-62, September.
    8. Jobson, J. D. & Korkie, Bob, 1989. "A Performance Interpretation of Multivariate Tests of Asset Set Intersection, Spanning, and Mean-Variance Efficiency," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 185-204, June.
    9. Godfrey, Leslie G, 1978. "Testing against General Autoregressive and Moving Average Error Models When the Regressors Include Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1293-1301, November.
    10. Mervyn King & Enrique Sentana & Sushil Wadhwani, 1990. "Volatiltiy and Links Between National Stock Markets," NBER Working Papers 3357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert, 2002. "International Asset Allocation With Regime Shifts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(4), pages 1137-1187.
    12. Dietrich Domanski & Alexandra Heath, 2007. "Financial investors and commodity markets," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Liu, Qingfu & Tu, Anthony H., 2012. "Jump spillovers in energy futures markets: Implications for diversification benefits," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1447-1464.
    2. Wolff, Dominik & Bessler, Wolfgang & Opfer, Heiko, 2012. "Multi-Asset Portfolio Optimization and Out-of-Sample Performance: An Evaluation of Black-Litterman, Mean Variance and Naïve Diversification Approaches," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62020, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Bala Batavia & Nandakumar Parameswar & Cheick Wagué, 2012. "Portfolio Diversification in Extreme Environments: Are There Benefits from Adding Commodity Future Indices?," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 33-48.
    4. Annastiina Silvennoinen & Susan Thorp, 2010. "Financialization, Crisis and Commodity Correlation Dynamics," Research Paper Series 267, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
    5. Mohamed Arouri & Duc Khuong Nguyen & Kuntara Pukthuanthong, 2014. "Diversification benefits and strategic portfolio allocation across asset classes: The case of the US markets," Working Papers 2014-294, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    6. Das, Sougata & Kadapakkam, Palani-Rajan & Tse, Yiuman, 2013. "Is carry-trade a viable alternative asset class?," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 247-257.
    7. Wolfgang Bessler & Julian Holler & Philipp Kurmann, 2012. "Hedge funds and optimal asset allocation: Bayesian expectations and spanning tests," Financial Markets and Portfolio Management, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 109-141, March.
    8. Bae, Geum Il & Kim, Woo Chang & Mulvey, John M., 2014. "Dynamic asset allocation for varied financial markets under regime switching framework," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(2), pages 450-458.

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